Pirates take two of three from Houston
Published 5:24 am Monday, March 17, 2003
From ECU Sports Information
HOUSTON, Texas — East Carolina scored the go-ahead run on a 10th-inning suicide squeeze play and held on for a 7-5 win over Houston in Conference USA baseball action on Sunday at Cougar Field.
With the win, the Pirates took two of three from the preseason C-USA favorites in both teams' opening weekend of league play and improved their overall record to 13-6-1. Houston falls to 8-12.
ECU carried a 5-3 lead into the ninth inning thanks to a two-run home run by Darryl Lawhorn in the fourth and a three-run shot by Ryan Jones in the eighth.
The Pirates were two outs away from ending the game before the Cougars' Hyung Cho blasted a 1-2 pitch from ECU reliever Greg Bunn over the left field wall to tie the game at 5-5.
In the top of the 10th, Pirate catcher Jake Smith was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Luke Cherry sacrificed Smith to third, where he was replaced by pinch runner Ben Sanderson. Paige then came to the plate and laid down a perfect bunt as Sanderson raced for home with the go-ahead run. Third baseman Cho fielded the bunt but threw wildly to first base, allowing Paige to reach second base. Mike DeJesus followed with a double down the left field line to drive in Paige and account for the final margin.
Bunn (1-1) returned for the bottom of the 10th, where he retired the Cougars in order for the first time in the game. Houston pounded out 14 hits, but stranded 10 runners. ECU gained its seven runs on just five hits.
The Pirates return home to face North Carolina A&T on Tuesday at 7 p.m.